One France District Cracks Down On Swiss "Garbage Tourists"

Officials in the eastern district of Franche-Comté are getting fed up with what they call "Swiss garbage tourists." Franche-Comté police say they've caught at least 140 Swiss people attempting to cross the border for the sole purpose of dumping their trash in France for free.

Switzerland not only has one of the highest taxation policies for waste removal in the world, it's also one of the highest waste producing nations in Europe. Many Swiss trash bins have microchips in them so the government can measure the number of kilograms residents throw away each week and charge them accordingly.

In an attempt to avoid these higher taxation policies, some Swiss people have become "garbage tourists" either in their own nation or by crossing the border into France. Basically "garbage tourism" refers to taking trash from home and throwing it out in a public dumpster.

People who work in Franche-Comté's customs office believe the Swiss are increasingly practicing "garbage tourism" because the trash policies in France are less strict. If the Swiss get away with it, they could be charged nothing and have France take care of their garbage woes.

One humorous case of "tourism trash" in recent weeks was a man from the Swiss city of Basel who threw a few of his trash bags in the French city of Delle. French police say this man would have got away with his crime…had he not left documents listing his Swiss address in the trash bags!

French authorities discovered 10 tons of trash coming into Franche-Comté from Switzerland last year. This is only the total weight of garbage the French officially discovered, so the actual figure of "tourist trash" in France is probably much higher.

If Swiss "garbage tourists" are caught by French authorities, they can be fined as much as €150. Customs officers in France encourage all Swiss residents to get rid of their trash in their home country to avoid these fines.

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